Friday, July 14, 2017

Ancestry Making Changes to AncestryDNA Test Activation and Administration

If you have an AncestryDNA test (or tests as many cases may be) processed, still siting around the house, or on route to you/the tester/the company, you are likely not aware of a change that Ancestry announced on its blog yesterday.

As of this morning based on comments and experience, no email from Ancestry corporate has been sent directly to Ancestry subscription members, AncestryDNA test purchasers, current AncestryDNA administrators, etc. announcing this change in policy.

As of July 18, 2017, Ancestry says each AncestryDNA tester (that is the person who provides the spit) must have their own Ancestry account and an email address and activate the test kit themselves. The tester would then invite the person who requested he/she take the test as a manager of that test while the tester retains ownership as the owner.

Ancestry said current accounts with multiple AncestryDNA tests will be allowed to retain "management" rather than administration of those tests. 

Though Ancestry said this change will be of as July 18th meaning multiple kits can still be activated under one account in the next few days, that activation process has already changed and there is currently no way for an administrator now called manager in the activation process to tell Ancestry what that tester's choice is regarding Agree to or Not Agree to Informed Consent regarding participation in research projects meaning can they or can they (Ancestry) not use/sell that DNA information scrubbed of personal details in research projects.

There is also currently no way for a "manager" to see what that tester's participation choice (agree or don't agree) is currently set at ... meaning is Ancestry still following the edicts of this tester ... for the tests they manage. This is of particular concern to those who manage multiple "grandfathered" tests in his/her account -- there is no way to ensure that tester's choice is being followed because there are no registered "owner accounts" of those older tests.

As can be seen on the comments section of that Ancestry Blog post, the overwhelming majority of the comments (384 and growing by the minute) are negative and against the change which Ancestry says is being made for personal privacy and control.

Another issue with two aspects being brought up in the comments is that: 1) there are people out there willing to test but they have no desire to manage their DNA or have an Ancestry membership due to various reasons (no interest in doing genealogy, no time, etc.), and 2) there are people out there willing to test but they do not have a device (computer, tablet, smartphone) nor an email account because they can't afford such and/or have no desire to own such, or they are not familiar with technology others take for granted (like some elderly) and do not own/use those devices or have an email account. Both those in Group 1 and Group 2 are happy to have someone else activate and administrate the test they were willing to provide spit if that is all they had to do. With the stated changes testing these individuals becomes extremely difficult if not impossible without bending the rules.

As some commenters have pointed out, the current/previous system of administrating tests was working and liked. A simple or somewhat simple consent form (like other DNA testing companies use) included in the test kit or available online would likely have covered any issues.

Read the blog announcement for yourself, add your comment if would like to do so. We have tried to keep this post informative including the jest of the announcement and overall constructive themes of some of the many hundreds of comments.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE


Today is the Last Day for Pre-Order Sale on Upgrade to Family Tree Maker 2017

Last night Software MacKiev announced that today, July 14, 2017, is the last day of the pre-order sale price of $29.95 for the Family Tree Maker 2017 upgrade for owners of previous Family Tree Maker versions. As of Saturday $39.95 will be the regular upgrade price.

MacKiev said the rollout of the "official" Family Tree Maker 2017 will likely begin late Saturday starting with Test Drivers. The company will post a rollout schedule when it is finalized. Notifications will be done by email that your download is ready. A rollout release is likely being used in order not to overtax the website as many try to download their long awaited software.

Read the latest announcement yourself either at the FTM support page (linked above and found under Release of FTM 2017) or the company's Family Tree Maker FaceBook page.

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Take Inventory: Back-to-School Sales are ... Restock Your Genealogy Supply Sales!

Tuesday's Tip
Back-to-School Sales on school supplies are not just for kids! These sales are for genealogists too! 

Just a few of the many supplies a genealogist would use.
Anyone who uses a lot of common office supplies should keep their eyes and ears open for some extreme savings that are only around this time year for certain supplies. So be smart and pay attention to those Back-to-School Sales going on for the next month or two so you can partake in the savings too. 

What would interest a genealogist? The first things that come to mind are USB drives (large sizes at great prices and small sizes at even better prices); printer/copier paper; pens and pencils; pencil lead (for those mechanical pencils); highlighters; file folders or pocket folders; paper and binder clips; index cards for those that like old school ways; plastic file boxes (keep that water damage away); sticky notes; binders; paper; computer accessories (like mice, computer bags, external hard drives, printers, software, and more); etc. Even office desks and chairs can be found on sale. 

Yes, for some things it is best to make sure you get acid-free versions, but that can get expensive and sometimes compromises must be made. Note acid-free copier/printer paper is easier to find nowadays. 

Also, at about this time of year (July/August/September) computer manufacturers are about to release their new models so good to great prices can often be found on this past year's models. (If your computer is really old and can not upgrade to Windows 10 because of old hardware or low-memory issues consider these sales.) Just remember to get as large of hard drive and as much memory as you are able to afford, and keep an eye on processor speed/power. There are other factors to consider when buying a computer -- these are three key ones.

Lastly for those who are Amazon Prime members, today began Amazon Prime Day so keep an eye out for those short term deals but remember to do your due diligence and make sure your sale price is indeed a good one.

May you find the deals on what you need, not on what you don't need. 

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library! 
LE

Monday, July 10, 2017

Launch Countdown Started for Official Release of Family Tree Maker 2017

Software MacKiev released an update on July 8th indicating that the latest builds of Family Tree Maker 2017 appear to be doing well with a variety of testers including those with large trees. They are "cautiously optimistic" that the company will be sticking to the schedule set three weeks ago.

That means the pre-order sale for upgrading to Family Tree Maker 2017 from any previous version of Family Tree Maker will be ending very soon. The pre-order sale for the upgrade is currently $29.95 for the software download. If you do not own any version of Family Tree Maker the regular price is $79.95 for the software download.

According to Software MacKiev, a final build will go out to beta testers tomorrow, Tuesday, July 11. If all goes well with that, Test Drivers will receive their copies of the "official release" on Saturday, July 15. Those who have pre-orders that are not test driving and the rest of the world will not be far behind according to Software MacKiev. Also, once the "official release" happens the pre-ordered Family Tree Maker 2017 CDs and USB drives will be produced and shipped.

Remember, keep up to date with any developments at the Family Tree Maker Support Center. To see any of our previous posts regarding Family Tree Maker just click on the Family Tree Maker label in the Label column to the left on this blog.

Our MCGG member who is now test driving Family Tree Maker 2017 Test Drive 2.0 reports "overall the program still looks like the familiar 2014 version; still no syncing issues but as before the tree being used is on the smaller side; the issue with web search/merge at Ancestry only using Ancestry Basic Search seems to have been addressed because there is now an not so obvious way to access the whole Ancestry website from within Family Tree Maker meaning there was a clear way to do so in versions 2014 and earlier. Overall experience is good so far."

See You Soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE

RootsMagic Released Update Bringing Ancestry Online Tree Syncing and Hints

On June 28, the makers of RootsMagic announced the release of RootsMagic 7.5 a free update to RootsMagic 7. The update brings two new features: TreeShare for for Ancestry and the addition of Ancestry Hints to RootsMagic's WebHints feature.

TreeShare for Ancestry will let you move data between your RootsMagic files on your computers and your personal Ancestry online trees. It will also allow you to share and collaborate with others.

Ancestry Hints give you the ability to review hints from within the software and then add new information and media from matching records into your tree.

Learn more from the RootsMagic Blog, and a special page to answer Ancestry questions. There is a link to a demonstration video there too. Remember RootsMagic has a full, pay version and a more limited free version called RootsMagic Essentials. The Essentials version, with the update, will have some of these new capabilities. See the special page to answer Ancestry questions for the details.

The makers of RootsMagic are also having a sale on the full version of RootsMagic until July 31, 2017, for Ancestry members. The download version plus free ebook manual will be just $20 instead of the $44.90 regular price. There are other sale options for receiving the software on CD with and without a printed manual.

In addition, check out Randy Seaver's blog Genea-Musings where he has begun investigating how these new features work. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

It is our understanding from some various initial reviews and comments that the RootsMagic syncing works differently than the Family Tree Maker syncing works.

See you soon at Mt Clemens Public Library!
LE

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Free Access Offer for Independence Day Weekend

Another late to the party free access offer. We have been checking the Fold3 homepage and Sunday night was the first time we saw this free access offer.

Free Access to Revolutionary War Collection at Fold3.com

Fold3.com is giving free access to its Revolutionary War Collection from July 1 until July 15, 2017. You will need a basic Fold3 membership. If you do not already have one, just register for a basic Fold3 membership which is free with no credit card required. If you already have a free Fold3 basic membership, just sign into the website. (You do not need to sign up for a 7-day free trial which requires a credit card.)

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE

Sunday, July 2, 2017

More Free Access This Holiday Weekend

As promised we are still keeping an eye out ...

Here are some holiday related free access offers one of which has been hiding. We say hiding because if you go to the main homepage you do not see the offer.

Free Access to Original 13 Colonies Records at Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is giving free access to its record collections for the Original 13 Colonies until 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Participation requires registration for a free Ancestry account. After the free access time is over, you will need a subscription to see those records online. But remember you can download found record images too. Ancestry.com has put together a list of the included record collections.

Free Access to All Canadian & Immigration Records at Ancestry.ca to Celebrate Canada DayAncestry.ca (that is the Canadian version of Ancestry) is giving free access to its Canadian & Immigration record collections until 11:59 p.m. ET, Tuesday, July 4, 2017 to celebrate Canada Day. Participation requires registration for a free Ancestry account. After the free access time is over, you will need a subscription to see those records online. But remember you can download found record images too. Ancestry.ca has put together a list of the included record collections.
 

But remember everyone, if you don't have a personal Ancestry subscription you can always visit your local library (like our favorite one whose air conditioning was restored a few days ago) to access its Ancestry Library Edition account for patrons. Most libraries have wireless internet access and allow you to access many library subscription databases from your own device like a laptop via wireless connection while in the library. Found records images can be downloaded/saved to your device for later use. For those databases where you must use a library computer, bring a USB drive to download/save your records.
 

See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!
LE